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Suspect said murdered man threw the first punch

Arthur Manning

Arthur Manning

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Updated: January 19, 2014 11:58AM

Arthur Manning said he “lost it” in the moments before he allegedly took out a folding pocket knife and stabbed Naromi Mannery to death in 2008.

“When he hit me, that was it,” Manning said during a taped interview with St. Charles police on Sept. 22, 2008, less than 12 hours after Mannery was found wounded and bleeding on a sidewalk outside a business in St. Charles.

That tape was shown to jurors Tuesday at the Kane County Judicial Center, on the second day of Manning’s murder trail.

Manning was previously convicted of stabbing Mannery to death during a fight outside Manning’s home. He was sentenced to 29 years in prison. That conviction, brought down in 2009, was overturned, and now jurors will again decide whether or not Manning was the man who wielded the knife, and why.

Following his previous conviction, Manning’s attorneys argued that now-retired Kane County Judge Timothy Sheldon should have instructed jurors to consider a second-degree murder conviction based on self-defense, but that Sheldon only gave the jury an option to find Manning guilty of second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing Mannery to death.

The appellate panel found Sheldon erred by not giving jurors a self-defense instruction.

Manning’s attorneys are alleging that their client acted out of self-defense when he allegedly stabbed Mannery several times, causing his death.

“When he punched me, I stabbed him,” Manning said during the recorded interview, taken at the Kane County Sheriff’s Department. He told officers that he had never seen Mannery before he arrived at Manning’s home in the 900 block of East Main Street that evening.

Manning and several other men, all employees of Windy City Amusements, lived together at the home. A resident had met Mannery earlier that evening, and Mannery allegedly accompanied that resident back to the Main Street address.

When he got there, Mannery allegedly refused to leave.

“The only thing he had to do was get up and walk away,” Manning said in the recorded statement. But, Mannery didn’t leave. Not until he was bleeding profusely from his back and chest.

Manning told police that Mannery was drunk. When he refused to leave, Manning said Mannery attacked him, initiating a fight.

“I lost sight of everything,” Manning said in the 2008 interview.

Manning and several other man were accused of beating Mannery during the altercation. Manning has been accused of using a folding pocket knife to stab Mannery in the back, chest and bicep.

When the fight ended, Manning and several men involved fled the residence. Another used a garden hose to wash blood away from the scene.

A wounded Mannery stumbled across five lanes of traffic, and collapsed outside a business on the opposite side of Main Street. He died hours later at the hospital.

Police followed the blood trail Mannery had left to the home Manning and the other carnival workers shared.

The men involved, including Manning, arrived back at the home after police had arrived.

Manning maintained that it was Mannery who initiated the fight, and threw the first punch.

St. Charles Police Det. Troy Peacock, who conducted the interview with Manning, said he saw no evidence of a punch to Manning’s face.

“I’m the only one he was beating on,” Manning told Peacock. “He initiated it all.”

Manning’s trial continues Wednesday. Jurors are expected to enter into deliberations by mid-morning, prosecutors said.

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